The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) is a very popular recruitment scheme that has been in operation for over 30 years. Every year around 5,000 foreign nationals take part in the program that is focused on raising the language skills of young people across the country. This program differs from many other similar recruitment schemes as it also includes an added emphasis on cross-cultural exchange between recruits and the community where they are placed. As the program includes a good salary and a range of extra benefits, it is always a popular option among TEFL qualified teachers.
What do I need to apply for the JET Program?
Despite being open to college graduates up to the age of 40, the JET Program has a strong focus on youth culture which means that younger graduates are often given preference. The basic requirements for applying to the program are a bachelor's degree or a three year teaching qualification at either primary or secondary level. You will also need to demonstrate that you have plenty of energy and are willing to fully embrace the Japanese culture and language.
What type of teaching jobs can I get through the JET Program?
There are three types of position available through the JET Program, however, around 90% of participants will work as Assistant Language Teachers (ALT). Your role in this category is to work alongside a local teacher in the classroom. Among your duties will be preparing teaching materials and participating in extracurricular activities such as sports or language clubs. The other potential positions available are Coordinator of International Relations (CIR) which requires a good standard of Japanese language, and Sports Exchange Advisor (SEA) which requires a high standard of sports achievement. For the current requirements and all the extra info you require, head to the official JET Program website.
What benefits does the JET Program offer?
There is no set salary with the JET Program as each position varies. However, the average monthly salary for first-time applicants is 280,000 JPY (currently $2,600 US) before tax. The usual working week is around 35 hours, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday to Friday. The program also pays for your airfares in and out of the country, and you will be allowed between 10 and 20 days paid holiday plus all national holidays. Please note that 40,000 JPY will be deducted from your salary every month to cover health insurance and pension contributions.